NEWCASTLE United’s Yohan Cabaye is feeling just champion – and ready to face Spain and Manchester City.
Cabaye missed the club’s last game with a groin problem.
And there were fears the influential midfielder was facing another long spell on the sidelines, having undergone abdominal surgery late last year.
However, Cabaye has shrugged off the problem he suffered against Anzhi Makhachkala – and is expected to start for France against European and world champions Spain at the Stade de France in Paris tonight.
Should Cabaye come through the World Cup qualifier unscathed, he would be in line to face Premier League champions Manchester City on Saturday.
That would be a significant lift for Pardew, who has a number of injury concerns.
Right-back Mathieu Debuchy was forced off with a hamstring problem in Newcastle’s last game – the 2-1 defeat at Wigan Athletic – while Massadio Haidara is sidelined until early next month with the knee and thigh problems he suffered in the same game.
Another full-back, Davide Santon, was withdrawn from Italy’s Under-21 squad with a hamstring injury. Santon was this week being assessed by the club’s medical staff.
And right-back Danny Simpson – who has found his opportunities limited since Debuchy joined United in January – is on standby to face City.
Cabaye – who had a groin operation in November – was forced off early in Newcastle’s dramatic 1-0 win over Anzhi.
The 27-year-old missed the Wigan game, but was allowed to join up with his international colleagues.
France coach Didier Deschamps chose not to play him against Georgia at the weekend as he is one yellow card away from a suspension.
Meanwhile, United’s Shane Ferguson, on loan at Birmingham City, is hoping to line up for Northern Ireland against Israel at Belfast’s Windsor Park tonight.
Extreme weather conditions over the weekend forced the postponement of the World Cup qualifier against Russia on Friday night and then again the following afternoon.